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The Tar Baby – A Global History - Princeton Scholarship Online
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The Tar Baby: A Global History

Bryan Wagner


Perhaps the best-known version of the tar baby story was published in 1880 by Joel Chandler Harris in Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings, and popularized in Song of the South, the 1946 Disney movie. Other versions of the story, however, have surfaced in many other places throughout the world, including Nigeria, Brazil, Corsica, Jamaica, India, and the Philippines. This book offers a fresh analysis of this deceptively simple story about a fox, a rabbit, and a doll made of tar and turpentine, tracing its history and its connections to slavery, colonialism, and global trade. The book explores ... More

Keywords: tar baby, slavery, colonialism, global trade, folktale, political philosophy, colonial law, political economy, slaves

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780691172637
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691172637.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Bryan Wagner, author
University of California, Berkeley